The first world online championship of IPCA (the International physically disabled chess association affiliated to FIDE) was held on June 16-17 in collaboration with the Israeli Chess Federation. The Swiss tournament was open to players with at least 50 percent disability and attracted 124 participants from 25 countries.
The rapid chess (nine-round tournament took place on a popular chess platform of lichess.org. The chief organizer and director Lior Aizenberg was assisted by the deputy director of the ICF Assi Philosoph, International arbiters Olexaner Prohorov (Ukraine) and Yuriy Borsuk (Belarus).
34-year old FM Sander Severino from Philippine scored 8.5 out of 9 (2602 performance!) and emerged as the winner of the tournament, 1.5 ahead of the runner-up. IM Andrei Gurbanov (Israel), IM Andrei Obodchuk, and FM Ilia Liplin (both Russia) tied for second place with 7 points each. Lukasz Nowak (Poland), Jasper Rom (Philippines), IM Igor Yarmonov (Ukraine), Henry Lopez ( Philippines), IM Dmitry Scerbin (Russia), Alexandra Alexandrova (Israel), Bakytzhan Maikenov (Kazakhstan) shared 5th – 11th place with 6.5 points each. Alexandrova, who finished in the respectable tenth place, was awarded as the best woman player.
Young Israeli grandmasters Nitzan Steinberg and Ori Kobo and IM Omer Reshef provided English commentary throughout the entire event via Twitch on the ICF official website.
The closing ceremony, conducted in Zoom, saw ICF chairman Dr. Zvika Barkai greeting all the participants and the winners in particular. Special thanks go to the IPCA president Svetlana Gerasimova and its honorary president Zbigniew Philimon for their contribution to the event’s success.
The IPCA annual World Championship was initially scheduled to be held at the end of June in the Israeli coastal city of Ashdod, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it had been postponed and hopefully will take place in October at the same venue. At the same time, it is planned to carry on this new online initiative in the coming years regardless of the epidemiological situation as it provides excellent opportunities to physically limited players in terms of logistics and finance.